Drifters By Bruce Dawe Essay
Drifters by Bruce Dawe
This poem is about a family that’s always on the move, with no place
to settle down for long, hence the poem was titled ‘Drifters’ to
describe this family. ‘Drifters’ looks at the members of this family
response to frequently change and how it has affected them.
This poem is told in third person narration in a conversational tone.
This gives the feeling as if someone who knows this family is telling
the responder the situation of this family. The use of phrases like
‘notice how the oldest girl…’ gives a feeling that the narrator is
pointing out to the responder the family members, as if the narrator
and the responder are both present at the scene when the family’s
moving at the time.
The blackberries were used as an indicator of time, showing us how
long the family has stayed in this place for, and the changes of the
blackberries from when they had first arrived to when they were
leaving also used as a symbol to create mood of sadness and the lost
We know from several lines of the poem that the family only stayed at
the house that they’ll soon be leaving for a very short while. From
‘and she’ll go out to the vegetable patch and pick up all the green
tomatoes from the vines,’ – The green tomatoes tell us that the tomato
plant has not been planted long, not long enough to produce ripe
fruits by the time they’re going to leave.
‘And the first thing she’ll put on the trailer will be the
bottling-set she never unpacked from Grovedale,’ – Again this tells us
that they only stayed for a short time for they didn’t get the chance
to use the bottling-set yet.
On their arrival the berries were the ‘first of the season’ but by the
time when they drove past the blackberry cane was they’re saw only ‘their
last shrivelled fruit’. – This tells us that they perhaps only stayed
for about two or three months.
As well as giving us an idea about how long the family stayed in this
home for they berries were also used as a symbol that relate to the
Drifters themselves. When they arrived, ‘She (Tom’s wife) held out her
hand bright with berries, the first of the season, and said: “Make a
wish, Tom, make a wish.”’ The fresh berries signify fresh hope for the
family, especially for the older members of the family who hopes to be
able to settle down at last. By the time of they’re leaving, the
berries will have become ‘Shrivelled fruits’. The berries have changed
and the hope that it once signified will be dried like the berries.
The different family members react differently to the decision to
move. The small children wouldn’t be upset by having to move again, in
fact they’ll be excited because they’re young and it’s all fun and
adventure like to them. Perhaps for a family like this the young
children may have been in...
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Show MoreHomecoming by Bruce Dawe
The poem 'Homecoming' originates from Bruce Dawe. Its journey depicts the aspects of war and its devastations upon human individuals. Using mainly the Vietnam War as a demonstration for its destructions.
Within this poem Bruce Dawe dramatizes the homecoming of Australian veterans' bodies from Vietnam. This is clearly an anti-war poem, reproducing the sentiments of those who opposed the time when this war occurred.
The poem starts of in what seems to be a monotone. With many simple verbs such as 'picking... bringing.... rolling ... whining...' are used to depicts how days after days, it is all the same. The bodies of the soldiers, days after days are all monotonously follow the same routine and being…show more content…
Yet it is subtly ironic in term that these soldiers are no longer alive, their homecoming is one of death and a great sadness for their family members.
It should be noted that these soldiers are not referred to by names, by divisions, or even by status within the army. They are just referred to as the ?curly-heads, kinky hairs, crew-cuts, balding non-coms?, they are referred to by their hairstyle, an insignificant trait that usually would never define a man as a person, yet it is in death that this significant thing becomes a mean to recognize the individuals by that traits. In this sense, by grouping the individuals by such an insignificant trait, these soldiers have lost their real identities within the war; they now have just become another unison group of bodies.
From line 12 to line 18, Bruce Dawe uses the description of the jet?s journey, carrying the bodies back to their homes as a way of lamenting on the deaths, the tragedy and the negativity of it all. These are demonstrated especially in strong descriptive words such as ?sorrowful fingers?, ?mangrove-swamps, the desert emptiness?? and ?sterile housing?. All devising to reflect on the emptiness, the hollowness and the bitterness of those slay by war and those that are left behind to feel the bitterness and the injustice that the war has brought.
The emotions of those that are left behind are emphasized on, in a restrained way as the jets approach the runways and onto the home of these